Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 10:35 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020
42 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
3:27 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

New hydroxychloroquine study finds no sign it helps Covid-19 patients

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Buda Mendes/Getty Images/FILE
Buda Mendes/Getty Images/FILE

A new study finds no evidence the drug hydroxychloroquine helps very ill Covid-19 patients survive better or escape the need for a ventilator to help them breathe.

"The patients who got the drug did not fare any better or any worse than patients who didn't get the drug," Neil Schluger, professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences and professor of medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN on Thursday.

There’s little to support the widespread use of the drug, Schluger and colleagues wrote in their report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday. 

"What we think perhaps the most important take-home message is that this drug is being administered to many, many, many people around the United States and around the world without any robust evidence that it works," Schluger said. "Our data could not demonstrate any association between the drug and an outcome — so our strong feeling is that this drug should not be administered in a routine basis to hospitalized patients."

What is this about: President Trump had urged use of the drug, originally developed to treat malaria and used to treat some autoimmune diseases such as lupus.

The observational study included data on 1,376 hospitalized Covid-19 patients admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City between March 7 and April 8.

Among the patients, 811 or 58.9% of them were treated with hydroxychloroquine. The remaining patients were not. By the end of the study, 180 patients were intubated and 166 died without intubation.  

Once the data in the study was adjusted to compare the groups, the study found no difference in the risk of intubation or death among patients who received hydroxychloroquine compared to those who did not.

"The analysis that we did was to use very rigorous and sophisticated, but very well established, statistical techniques to compare the patients who got hydroxychloroquine to patients who looked just like them and for whatever reason didn't get hydroxychloroquine," Schluger said. 

"From that analysis, there appeared to be no association at all," Schluger added. "In a sense, we can't see any association between getting the drug and anything happening to anyone."

The National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have cautioned against using the drug outside of a clinical trial.

CNN medical correspondent shares study's conclusion:

3:01 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Miami Beach extends "safer-at-home" order

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

The South Pointe Pier is taped off closed on April 29, in Miami Beach, Florida.
The South Pointe Pier is taped off closed on April 29, in Miami Beach, Florida. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Miami Beach just extended its “safer-at-home” order through May 14, according to a copy of the signed order released by the city’s press office.

The order includes a general curfew, the continued closing of public and private nonessential establishments and social distancing practices. Beaches remain closed. 

All employees and customers of essential retail and commercial businesses are also required to wear a face covering, such as a mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief.

2:56 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Catch up on the latest pandemic developments in the US

If you're just joining our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, here are the latest headlines:

  • NBA opens team facilities: The NBA has informed all of its franchises that their facilities may open Friday and be used on a voluntary basis by up to four individual players, as long as local or state guidelines are followed.
  • Unemployment worsens: Economist Mark Zandi expects the unemployment rate to hit “close to 20%,” and he notes that it could reach 25% for underemployed Americans, which are those on the “periphery of the labor market.” 
  • Americans are spending less: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's quarterly household spending survey found that people across the income spectrum reeled back their spending over the past several months while businesses have closed and laid off employees.
  • Ohio allows some businesses to open: Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that personal services like hair salons, barber shops, day spas, or nail salons will be allowed to open on May 15.
  • Rhode Island to reopen: Gov. Gina Raimondo confirmed Thursday that her statewide stay-at-home order will expire Friday and the state will begin phase one of its reopening as long as businesses comply with additional rules like cleaning frequently, reducing capacity and screening employees.
2:46 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Ohio announces hair salons and restaurants will be able to reopen this month

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that personal services like hair salons, barber shops, day spas, or nail salons will be allowed to open on May 15.

Debbie Penzone, who headed up the working group that put together best practices for reopening personal services, said some changes in practices will include professionals wearing masks and clients waiting in their cars until their appointment.

Additionally, the governor announced Ohio’s outdoor dining will reopen on May 15 and dine-in service will resume on May 21.

According to Treva Weaver, a restaurant COO who led the state’s restaurant working group, the establishments will need to create floor plans to comply with social distancing guidelines and most all employees will be wearing masks in the reopening.

2:46 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

New Jersey health officials say they've heard reports about inflammatory disease in children in their state

Dr. Edward Lifshitz, the medical director for the New Jersey Department of Health
Dr. Edward Lifshitz, the medical director for the New Jersey Department of Health Pool

New Jersey health officials say they have heard reports in their state about rare inflammatory disease in children that could be linked to coronavirus that’s been seen in New York.

Responding to a question from a reporter, Dr. Edward Lifshitz, the medical director for the New Jersey Department of Health, said that the state has begun to hear reports about these cases as well and are reaching out to local commissions and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional guidance. Lifschitz said they did not know yet how often this association occurs, but said “certainly it’s rare.”

Lifschitz noted that only about 2% of the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the state are in the “pediatric population."

What's this about: The New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued an advisory on Wednesday to healthcare providers about “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19,” describing it as a serious inflammatory disease affecting children, including as many as 64 potential cases. 

Some of the children had symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease, the advisory said.

2:35 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Rhode Island will begin reopening this weekend, governor says

From CNN’s Will Brown

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo confirmed Thursday that her statewide stay-at-home order will expire Friday and the state will begin phase one of its reopening.

Raimondo mentioned several industries that can reopen Saturday if they comply with additional rules like cleaning frequently, reducing capacity, and screening employees.

The rules and industries include:

  • Retail shops may reopen
  • Elective medical procedures and other healthcare needs like immunizations and specialty care can resume
  • State parks will reopen with limited parking available
  • Places of worship may hold services for five people or fewer. Drive-in or broadcasted services are recommended.
  • Employees of office-based businesses who need to go to the office may do so on a very limited basis, but work from home is encouraged

Restaurants are still limited to delivery and takeout while outdoor dining might be permitted eventually in phase one. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities remain closed to visitors and entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums, gyms, salons and barber shops will remain closed.

The governor said that her priority in phase one is people returning to work, and that socializing should wait and be limited to groups of five or fewer people.

“This is not the time for social gatherings,” Raimondo warned. “The economic devastation in this state and every state around this country is untenable. So I am focused like a laser on work, getting people enabled to work.”
2:46 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Whether or not states reopen is up to them, Kellyanne Conway says

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

 Conway speaks with reporters outside the White House in on Tuesday, May 5.
 Conway speaks with reporters outside the White House in on Tuesday, May 5. Patrick Semansky/AP

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway stressed that states choosing to reopen across the country are making their own decisions.

“The President isn't 'reopening' each state up. The governors in those states are making those decisions. And we’re having ongoing conversations with those governors. They are welcome, and many have, to submit a plan for reopening,” the she said

Conway said that when Trump wanted to get more involved, the administration got “tremendous blowback,” she said while speaking on Fox News on Thursday.

Conway said that the administration has spoken to certain states when the White House views something a state is doing as troubling.

Following her Fox appearance, Conway discussed the administration not implementing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on reopening the country, saying that the governors want to be in charge of opening their states. She said “there’s not a one size fits all strategy for the whole country and it doesn’t sound like there’s a one size fits all policy even for some of those states.”

2:28 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Abbott testing system has a 15% false negative rate, NIH director says

From CNN's Amanda Watts 

A lab technician dips a sample into the Abbott Laboratories ID Now testing machine at the Detroit Health Center in Detroit, on April 10.
A lab technician dips a sample into the Abbott Laboratories ID Now testing machine at the Detroit Health Center in Detroit, on April 10. Carlos Osorio/AP/FILE

 

Dr. Francis Collins, director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said the Abbott ID Now machine, which is used to perform rapid coronavirus tests, has “about a 15% false negative rate.”

Speaking to the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee, Collins said there are about 18,000 of the machines out there right now, performing tests, which have results in roughly 15 minutes. 

“If you're in a circumstance where you really really don't want to miss a diagnosis of somebody who's already carrying the virus, you'd like to have something that has a higher sensitivity than that. And I know they're working on how to make that happen,” Collins said.

“It's certainly one of the most exciting things we've got right now, but we think we could even do better,” he said.

“I would say if we have a new technology that would give a twofer where you could get both a virus test and an antibody test at the same time for a really good price -- that might be something we'd be pretty interested in,” Collins said.

As part of the 21st Century Cures Act, the All of Us Research Program is hoping to do antibody survey of a million people. “We're already up to over 300,000 that have signed up, and those individuals answer lots of questions, their electronic health records are available for researchers to look at. And after they'd been anonymized, they get blood samples, over the course of time," Collins said.

 

2:18 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Pennsylvania extends eviction protections until July 10

From CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday an Executive Order that protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures and evictions through July 10.

This action builds on the state’s Supreme Court order that closed court eviction proceedings until May 11, and ensures no renter or homeowner will be removed from their home for 60 more days.